Ive been dealing with the job-got-me-down blues for a while now, dealing with the COVID outbreak, where everyone seems to be getting a 'vacation', whether that be invited or not, except for myself, who is considered and 'essential worker. In the midst of my realization that travel is not an achievable goal for the next, well... ever... while in my life, I was getting itchy feet. User Qmas811 contacted me about some epic spots to foam the peavine, and explore some 'really cool spots' along the now abandoned original ATSF line in northern AZ. This was a trip that was right up my alley.
No doubt you've come to find this guide after being wooed by pretty pictures of trains and hobo punks from folks like the Polaroid Kid, heard about that wonderful adventure your friend had, or seen a documentary about train hopping somewhere that made it seem liberating and romantic. Well, I'm here to tell you that like most things portrayed by the media, this view of the hobo lifestyle is almost complete bullshit.
I'd like to share some photos of my travels this spring. I'm not usually one to post stories of what I'm up to but feel this can be some contribution considering the forums here have aided me in my travels. After spending a week in Salt Lake city Utah going to strange dystopic hotsprings, a beautiful shadowy show and getting stoned before seeing space jesus at the Mormon temple, I continued East, away from the familiar cascade mountains and into the sprawl, as the manufactured crisis spread. I trekked to Provo wading thru fields of dry rattling thistle stalks to the hopout...
Waited by a bridge in Orizaba to catch La Bestia going north. It was around 5am, as our train pulled up with about 50 migrants, mostly from Honduras and Guatemala, escaping gang violence and poverty in their countries so bad that the danger and certain likelihood that they will be assaulted by the cartel, robbed at gun point, kidnapped and tortured, thrown off a moving train, raped, or injured and mutilated while hopping on and off the fly, is not nearly as bad as the dangers they face if they stay in their country. All males, some kids, didnt see females. They all got off when the train...
In case you didn't hear about the unintentional event and internet viral phenomenon, Storm Area 51: They Can't Stop Us All -- It was a joke started by Matty Roberts on Facebook as just another one of many shitposts one would expect to find on social media. The difference here was that this particular joke caught fire across the internet, and at it's peak...
I'm not feeling creative at all but I wanna get this trip report written up before I start forgetting details. Maybe as I continue writing, the creativeness will come. With an opener like that and having titled this "senior tour" I've probably lost 88% of the potential viewers already but fuck it let's dive in.
Alright, peeps... I'm gonna share with you my on-going journey with the art of land cultivation, building, and off-grid living. I began this with my partner Caveman in mid November of 2018. This all started after I finally spent some time in Louisiana, being my 48th state hit while traveling over the last couple of years. Hoorah!
I had just gotten back to Denver after touring California with my band Rotten Reputation, and was faced with the task of heading back almost immediately to LA for a music festival I had said yes to playing a few months prior. "I've gotta stop planning this far ahead, I'm bouncing back and forth and at this point it's getting exhausting," I thought as I got my pack together with some fresh clothes and extra cans of soup.
So Koala and I spend way too much time on here and started making lighthearted memes about popular users and travel stuff. Hopefully everyone finds them in good humor... Comment any (lighthearted/respectful) additions yall might come up with!
I never forgot my childhood in Louisiana, growing up hopping freight trains a handful of times, and have always wanted to do it again. I recently reached out to [USER=25743]@Gulysses3[/USER] , expressing an interest in tagging along on a trip. At times, the nature of my work involves reaching out to strangers, oftentimes not receiving a reply, so I was mildly surprised when [USER=25743]@Gulysses3[/USER] agreed to let me come along. This is no easy decision, considering the nature of what this type of travel involves, and because of that I'm truly grateful to have been able to...
All throughout the San Juans and Puget Sound there is what is known as the Cascadia Marine Trail, which is a saltwater "trail" leading to various points of interests, marine state parks, and campgrounds... many of which are only accessible by boat. I believe most, if not all, of the campgrounds have mooring balls or docks you can tie up to for a small fee or you can always drop anchor for free. There are tons of of little islands and bays like this to explore.
I got out to the trail, east of Vancouver, as the sun was falling low behind ominous clouds. A woman walked by me with her dog in the cold silence, giving me an uncertain look as I said hello; two ravens were perched in an aspen on my right, letting me know of their mutual displeasure. It had rained all morning, and the ground of what was once Kwikwetlem land (now an industrial park) was still soaked and teeming with slugs. I walked down to the curve of the...
A week prior to this trip, I had already been desert bound from Adelaide with my dearest friend, Emilie. Taking the highway route up, counting all the dead and burnt kangaroo roadkill… I stopped counting at 87. That trip, that week, I got a call from my Dad in the states, with the news that he had been diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to vomit, to scream. It felt fitting to feel so lost, to feel so out of control in a place in the world that doesn’t surrender to human nature, a place that keeps moving and changing at its own will. Yet in the car, it felt safe, it felt trapped.
I always shoplifted from a very young age. I got an allowance, but it was never enough for all the comic books, airplane and tank models, and candy i wanted, so i supplemented it. I grew up in a more or less middle class household, what you call "genteel academic poverty"- when i was a kid, my dad was a junior level college professor, and my mom was a newspaper reporter, but there was never much money around. i never saw my parents work 9 to 5- i thought what adults did for money was type and occasionally yell "Can't you goddam kids keep it down a little?" My mom would say in later more...
The rivers of the United States have a certain lore and mystique within American culture. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these roaring waterways were home to thousands. Entire communities existed on or near the water in self-made houseboats. The history of these communities has been explored briefly in river memoirs such as Harlan Hubbard’s Shantyboat Journal, but hasn’t been thoroughly examined in a present-day context. That is, until a modern shantyboat came bobbing down the Mississippi in the summer of 2014.
I arrived at Norfolk Southern's Harris yard just before 9 pm to watch my train to Atlanta finish being built and hopefully find a sweet, cozy ride! I estimated that it would take about 20-24 hours til we arrived in the land of prissy housies, cracked out home bums, and Coca-Cola (these are pretty much the only things I've ever experienced in Atlanta). My buddy dropped me at the yard and I scampered in to the shadows by some semi trailers, waited, and watched.
Riding Canadian National on the former Illinois Central line from Metairie Yard in New Orleans to Markham Yard in Chicago. In terms of weather, this was one of the more bizarre trips I've taken. The warm temperatures of early spring in the deep south gave me a false sense of security that slowly morphed into a growing sense of regression as I rolled into the bleak scenery and freezing temperatures of Illinois.
I wasn’t particularly confident I was going to be able to catch the train I was after. Or really, even the nightly fleet of north and westbounds I was waiting for. I wasn’t too fussed on where I was headed. Just knew that I was headed. The general consensus was that the best way to grab a train was on the fly at the throat. I shunned my body for being clumsy and not as strong as I’d like it to be, and also that the sport I love so much has the capacity to involve so much physical risk.
I've gone about 500 miles total on the California coast so far on an old rigid steel mountain bike I converted for touring. Here's some pictures. I need to start remembering to take more. The nonprofit in Tacoma I converted my bike for less than $100 with used parts. I got used top of the line Ortlieb bags for less than $100 watching the online marketplaces.
So I just realized that October marked five years since I signed up for StP and wanted to get some thoughts down about it. I discovered the traveler scene when I was 17 completely accidentally. I was chilling in a park and there were a couple interesting looking people there so I asked if they wanted to smoke a bowl with me. We started chatting and they told me about a way of life I was completely unaware of. It immediately enticed me and I started doing research about it. I bought some Crimethinc books and fantasized about hopping trains after high school.
I'm here on the bus, I mean I'm sitting here on the LA bus and like always I can't sleep. Any time we're enroute, I can't sleep. The exception being trains. That big steel mammajamma rocks me right to bed every time. But this road warrior ain't a train and here I am. Since my last post I've slept on the streets, alone for the first time. Wow is that stressful man. The whole shebang is full of I guesses. Where's my pack go? By my head I guess. Do I cover up with the tarp? It conceals me, I guess. Am I going to die tonight behind this off brand auto parts store? I guess...
As I was walking down from El Centro after being dropped off there the night before by Frank who swore he saw me with my friend Forrest hitchhiking at the i-8 on-ramp next to the In-n-Out three years ago, I get picked up by a lovely woman that drives me into Mexicali, feeds me amazing tacos and drops me off where the train should depart. The night before I talked to a guy who years ago worked for Ferromex in Mexicali and told me that my train should leave around noon.
On September 28, 2018 I set out on my biggest and longest endeavor to date: 2 months on the road, across the country and back, hitting the four geographical corners of the USA - Philadelphia, Miami, Slab City, and Seattle, and everywhere in between. The trip started out in Philadelphia. [USER=5813]@siid[/USER] and I met up for the first time and were kicking back and talking shit and getting ready to hop out on the UPS/juice train in the morning.
We all know those days, the miserable ones. And we all know those people that just have to give you shit for your lifestyle. Here's my story, what happened while I was hitchhiking across the US and Canada.